They've got the power. Marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associates (best known for its car ratings) awards badges of excellence in dozens of categories based on yearly customer satisfaction surveys. Its studies are independently financed and then sold for use in marketing. Only top-rated performers can license the use of the awards. J.D. Power also provides its ratings for the financial, home building, and travel industries. In addition to surveys, the firm offers forecasting and other market research services. J.D. Power has half a dozen offices in the US and another 11 internationally. The company was founded in 1968 by its namesake, James D. Power III, and is owned by publisher McGraw-Hill.
J.D. Power operates as part of McGraw-Hill's Information & Media segment, which generates about 15% of its total revenue each year. In order to keep J.D. Power growing, McGraw-Hill plans to deepen its offering and extend its services internationally, including in China, where the automotive market is expanding quickly.
J.D. Power has also extended its reach through the launching of offices in key emerging markets. In 2010 it entered South America and Central America through the opening of regional locations in São Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, Mexico. The company has additional offices in Canada, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific.
J.D. Power has a particularly strong presence in the UK, where its UK Customer Satisfaction Index reviews all cars that have been on the road for two years at the time of publication. The survey consists of comments and ratings from consumers who bought the cars new two years previously, and satisfaction is based on a number of different criteria. The marks are added up for each car to formulate an overall score, and the annual list typically comprises about 130 cars.
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